The fight against malaria has seen impressive accomplishments in the last two decades. It has helped avert more than 7 million deaths and 1.5 billion cases of the disease. Nevertheless, progress has stalled in recent years and malaria remains a public health threat, particularly in the African region, which accounted for over 90% of malaria cases and deaths in 2021, according to the latest World Malaria Report.

Emerging challenges such as the spread of insecticide and antimalarial drug resistance have demonstrated the need for new approaches to control the disease. One of the novel interventions being considered focuses on targeting the mosquitoes responsible for malaria transmission through the use of genetic modification. A recently published article in the journal Nature looks at the history, evolution and current status of research to develop genetically modified mosquitoes to control malaria.

Mosquito larvae under a microscope. Photograph: Target Malaria